Most students of literature are expected to read the classics. And students of history look to authors with a passion for meticulous, scholarly research.
But there are millions of people who read books simply to be entertained, and that is what Dorothea Benton Frank did to the great delight of her devoted fans.
Mrs. Frank’s death Monday following a brief illness leaves a wide circle of readers saddened. Their appetite for her stories of the Lowcountry — especially the coast — is not nearly satisfied. For almost 25 years, beginning with “Sullivan’s Island,” they have made Mrs. Frank’s latest book their “beach read.”
When they finish “Queen Bee,” her 20th and most recent book, they will be hard-pressed to find another author who loves this area as much as she did and who constructs tales of families, friends and relationships in the straightforward, authentic voice Mrs. Frank used.
Mrs. Frank was known for her unpretentious enthusiasm. As co-host for The Post and Courier’s annual Book and Author Luncheon, she was an attraction in herself. Indeed, as a writer, speaker and hostess of special events to showcase the places she wrote about, she was an ambassador for her native Lowcountry. Her love for this special place and its culture led her to join the board of trustees of the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League and the South Carolina Historical Society.
Dorothea Benton Frank will be remembered as an entertaining author, a proud daughter of the Lowcountry and a source of welcome diversion.